Faith Hagenhofer
My work centers on issues of belonging, movements of people and peoples; contested lands layered by multi-century traffic, by people with various degrees of agency and entitlement; all the things, the detritus and precious objects that are part of these movements; the stuff, stories, and myths of immigration and emigration.

I’m pulled like a crow to bright objects, to all the intentional and unintentional artifacts of the voluntary and involuntary migrations to and across the US and particularly, to the West. I've long been interested in how these objects of material culture, an archaeologists hoard, offer opportunities for fact and fiction. Single items can have multiple optional contextual possibilities, many ways of being read, many possible groups that they belong with. Dubious provenance is also always a possibility.

I’m interested in an outsider’s view of something they don’t understand, for which they happily supply their own made up story; an outsider curiously looking in, an observer, a reporter becomes an interpreter. The resulting dominant narrative might turn on outsider interpretations, and yet might be neither true nor the whole story.

I am a first generation US citizen, child of an immigrant and an almost-immigrant, with a tiny family of origin, who chose to transplant from the urban East coast in my young adulthood. Since then I have lived rurally, shepherding a small flock for about 10 years, with a feltmaking practice for 22 years; my relationship with the material – wool - has shifted over the years, mostly from practical to sculptural, picking up conceptual along the way, though never quite dropping object making. I couple art-making with work as a librarian. Most of that career has been in service to one of the Salish Sea’s Native nations.

I have led myself to think that, if I make from that which grows at what I’ve made into home, I will belong to this place. I’m hesitant to believe this, just because I thought it, because too many interlopers think just this way, even turning the idea around so it becomes it’s converse—and this place will belong to me.